Badger gets ready for tomorrow

Impact of future Prestage plant is already being felt

Small towns all over Iowa are shrinking. Here in Webster County that trend is being reversed thanks to robust economic growth both locally and in the region. Important developments took place in that regard this week in Badger.

The Messenger reported Thursday that on Monday the Badger City Council created an urban renewal area aimed at bringing about new housing. The city has purchased land to the southeast of the town and this fall plans to start the first phase of work on new roads and infrastructure for housing. The initial phase will have 16 lots in the northernmost part of the addition, as well as a stormwater retention pond farther south, and cost about $914,000. The whole project, done in three phases, will cost about $2.45 million and add 24.5 acres to the town — 35 new housing lots.

Community leaders in Badger are bullish about the town’s ability to grow because Prestage Foods is building a massive plant just 13 miles east of town. The $250 million pork-processing facility will be five miles south of Eagle Grove off Iowa Highway 17. Prestage is on track to be a major regional employer. It is estimated that as many as 1,000 people will be hired to staff the new plant. Badger and other Webster County towns will be a short commute for workers who will be in need of conveniently located housing.

The enormous investment Prestage Foods is making in north central Iowa has huge implications not only for Badger but for all of Webster County. Other communities will almost certainly see the demand increase for housing. The new plant’s workers are also likely to find Fort Dodge and nearby locales to be attractive shopping and recreational venues.

The Messenger applauds the Badger City Council for seizing on this opportunity to strengthen the town’s prospects for the years ahead. Other Webster County towns also have plans in various stages of development to respond appropriately to the growth possibilities being afforded by our rapidly evolving regional economy. It’s an exciting time to call Webster County home.